Tuesday, March 8, 2011
ORNL in the News

Tried and true recipes

(Physorg.com) Researchers at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, working with Idaho National Laboratory, revived work to fabricate high-quality coated-particle fuel for high-temperature gas reactors (HTGRs). The ORNL researchers coated uranium-based fuel kernels with carbon and silicon carbide, relying in part on techniques developed years ago by scientists, many of who have long since retired. "The processes we based on their research and records worked perfectly," says ORNL researcher Rick Lowden...3/4

Story tips from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory March 2011

(R&D Magazine) CYBERSECURITY -- Software agents on assignment...Tracking and protecting information stored on an organization's network could be more secure with a system developed by a team led by Justin Beaver of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Computational Sciences and Engineering Division....ENERGY -- Ocean power...electricity generated by the ocean is gaining steam with a demonstration plant off the coast of Kona, Hawaii...BIOMEDICAL -- Informatics and analytics...Making the most of biomedical imaging data will be a huge focus for dozens of professionals participating in the 3rd Annual Biomedical Science and Engineering Conference March 15-17...3/8

Tracking forest threats

(Innovations Report) Led by the USDA Forest Service, the multi-agency project uses high-performance computing to incorporate remote sensing data from NASA satellites with other climate, soil and weather data to identify abnormal vegetation patterns and the timing of seasonal changes. "We can develop signatures of disturbance dynamics and teach the system to tell us not only where potential threats are, but even suggest what might be going on," said ORNL computational scientist Forrest Hoffmann...3/7

Prospective students for CIRE inaugural class visit campus

(Daily Beacon) Tiberiu Stan may be from West coast, but he could see himself making East Tennessee home this August as part of the inaugural class of the UT/ORNL Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education (CIRE)...On Monday, the prospective students toured facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory such as the Spallation Neutron Source and the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences which the students would have the invaluable opportunity to use as researchers. Tuesday, they met with department representatives and CIRE leaders and toured UT research laboratories...3/7

US team claim biofuels process advance

(The Engineer) A US research team has developed a technology using bacteria to convert plant matter directly into iso-butanol, which can be burned in regular car engines with a heat value higher than ethanol and similar to gasoline. The work was conducted by researchers at the US Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center (BESC), led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory...3/8

Oak Ridge Looks Toward 20 Petaflop Super

(HPCwire) Oak Ridge National Lab, which already hosts two petascale supercomputers, is planning to add another to its elite stable of HPC machines. According to a news report in the Knoxville News Sentinel, the DOE lab will begin installing a new 20 petaflop supercomputer, named "Titan," in late 2011, with the complete system ready to boot up sometime in 2012...3/7

Sci Protek Signs Deal to Reduce Plant Disease

(AG Professional) Sci Protek, Inc. has procured licensing rights from the University of Chicago for new biotechnology that protects plants from crop diseases. Research on a new method for inducing plant pathogen resistance began in 2005 following a grant from the National Science Foundation. Principal developers include Drs. Jean Greenberg and Ho Won Jung at the University of Chicago and Timothy Tschaplinski at Oak Ridge National Laboratory...3/7


Gerald Boyd joining S.M. Stoller

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Gerald Boyd, the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge manager who announced last week that he is retiring from federal service, effective April 3, will be going to work for S.M. Stoller Corp. -- an environmental company that's headquartered in Colorado...3/7

Energy Department Announces New Advance in Biofuel Technology

(AIP) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today congratulated a team of researchers at the Department's BioEnergy Science Center who have achieved yet another advance in the drive toward next generation biofuels: using bacteria to convert plant matter directly into isobutanol, which can be burned in regular car engines with a heat value higher than ethanol and similar to gasoline...3/7




The Protean Future Of American Cities

(Forbes) The ongoing Census reveals the continuing evolution of America’s cities from small urban cores to dispersed, multi-polar regions that includes the city’s surrounding areas and suburbs...3/8


East Tennessee

Preservations aim to save 18 endangered ET historic sites

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A regional preservation group has just unveiled its 2011 list of 18 endangered historic sites in the hopes of rallying support for saving them...The Alexander Inn (originally known as The Guest House) was built in 1943 in Oak Ridge to serve the "Secret City"...3/7

State & Regional

Proposal to allow Tennesseans to opt out of federal health-care law goes to governor

(Tennessean) A proposal that would allow Tennesseans to opt out of the federal health-care law is headed to the governor for his consideration after passing the Republican-controlled House 70-27 Monday on a party-line vote...3/8

energy & science policy


Inside Energy Extra

3/7 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Tapping SPR 'an option': White House
- IG questions DOE loan-guarantee process
- Science office 'can handle' Senate cuts
- NARUC sues again over nuclear-waste fee

science & technology

The Reinvention of Silk

(NY Times) ...Some scientists are now making an end run around the spider problem and working on reinventing the one silk that is commonly available — that of silkworms. They are reconstituting it to make novel materials that have the potential to go far beyond the dream of bulletproof vests...3/7

Taking the temperature of the ancient earth

(Physorg.com) A team of researchers, including earth and planetary scientists from Washington University in St. Louis, for the first time has been able to reconstruct both ocean temperature and general ice thickness of massive glaciers during one of the biggest mass extinctions in history hundreds of millions of years ago...3/8

2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal

(Time) On Feb. 15, 1965, a diffident but self-possessed high school student named Raymond Kurzweil appeared as a guest on a game show called I've Got a Secret...Kurzweil then demonstrated the computer, which he built himself — a desk-size affair with loudly clacking relays, hooked up to a typewriter...3/7

Other Stories

Plastic's New Frontier: No Scary Chemicals

(NPR) Some businessmen and scientists in Austin, Texas, are trying to change the way consumers think about plastic...3/4

OPEC mulls boosting output, Iran sees no need

(Reuters) OPEC oil producers are consulting about a supply boost but many in the group remain skeptical, saying high prices are due to fears of shortage and world supply is comfortable despite the loss of Libyan crude...3/8